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Throughout history, there have been a number of reported cases of fungi causing mass hysteria and hallucinations. Some researchers believe that the Salem witch trials were caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, or as it's more commonly known, Ergot. Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye when it's cold and damp. It's the source of lysergic acid, which is what the drug LSD is based off of. If ingested, it can cause hallucinations and convulsions, which are very similar to the reported symptoms the girls in Salem experienced. Several analyses by historians found that their symptoms closely matched those of ergotism.
Researchers from Clarkson University believe this might be the link between old houses and hauntings. They're investigating the possibility that poor air ventilation and decades of mold growth might make people hallucinate. Some toxic molds commonly found in the house can cause symptoms similar to how ergot affected people in Salem. Lead researcher on the study, Dr. Shane Rogers, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, told DNews that, "Reported mental and physical health symptoms and experiences of those exposed to poor air quality, including molds; and experiences, including physical and mental, reported in hauntings are strikingly similar".
This is definitely a case of "more research is needed", but have you ever experienced a ghost or something unexplained? Maybe you were really high! Either way, we'd love to hear from you so share your experience in the comments section down below!
New Study Backs Thesis On Witches (NY Times)
"A new scientific report supports the theory that the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Mass., may have followed the widespread consumption of a poisonous fungus similar to lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD."
Clarkson University Undergrads Research Link Between Hauntings & Indoor Air Quality (Clarkson.edu)
"'Hauntings are very widely reported phenomena that are not well-researched,' he said. 'They are often reported in older-built structures that may also suffer poor air quality. Similarly, some people have reported depression, anxiety and other effects from exposure to biological pollutants in indoor air.'"